JOHN Coleman praised the character of his side in Saturday's 1-1 draw with MK Dons as they played nearly an hour with 10 men after Liam Coyle's first half dismissal - a decision that left the Reds boss furious.

It started off well for Stanley when they took the lead in the ninth minute. Sean McConville’s deep free-kick found Colby Bishop around 15 yards out and he headed home his 10th goal of the campaign.

MK Dons equalised after 25 minutes as Scott Twine sent Mo Eisa free and he cut inside in the area before his low drive hit the back of the net.

Midfielder Coyle was shown a straight red card by referee Will Finnie in the 34th minute for a high challenge on Daniel Harvie which left Coleman unhappy with the match official.

He said: “I think you know it’s not a sending-off when everyone in the ground is surprised at it and I don’t think anyone in the ground expected the referee to show a red card.

“That killed the game as a spectacle as it became attack against defence.

“We said at half-time the worst team to go down to 10 men against is MK Dons as they are expansive and pass the ball out wide but we kept our shape, we made some good blocks and tackles and our keeper really hasn’t had that many saves to make.

“Colby’s goal deserved to win any game, he headed it so sweetly and it hit the top corner of the net.

“We were then disappointed to concede as we knew they would do that and had worked on it in training."

With the man advantage, MK pressed and dominated possession.

Stanley goalkeeper Toby Savin denied Troy Parrott and also pulled off a stunning save to keep out Twine in the second half, with Dean Lewington hitting the post in stoppage time.

The draw means Stanley drop a place to 11th in the League One table while MK Dons remain seventh.

“After the sending-off we showed a lot of character," said Coleman. "It’s weird as I should be happy with a point after playing with 10 men for so long but if it was 11 v 11 I think we could have won the game.”

Play-off chasing MK Dons had to settle for a 1-1 draw against 10-man Accrington.

Stanley were forced to play 56 minutes with 10 men following Liam Coyle’s red card.